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Orange Reaction:
What the Kremlin Learned
(and What It Didn’t Learn)
from the Orange Revolution
Oleg Kozlovsky
The “New Au...
Russia and Ukraine in 2004
• “Managed democracy” looks firm and well-established
in both countries, with the
opposition, m...
Use of Propaganda
• Orange Revolution is represented as Westerninstigated, nationalistic, anti-Russian, chaotic, bloody, e...
Political Organizing
• Nashi and similar groups absorb socially active
youth using many “Orange” techniques
• Both the pol...
Legislation and Policies
• Electoral reform: Shutting down 2/3 of political
parties, banning of electoral blocs, putting
r...
Post-2011 Perspective
• By 2011, Kremlin’s policies had discredited most political
institutions – elections, the Parliamen...
Oleg Kozlovsky
oleg@kozlovsky.ru
@kozlovsky
facebook.com/kozlovsky
Skype: okozlovsky
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Orange Reaction: What the Kremlin Learned (and What It Didn’t Learn) from the Orange Revolution

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My presentation at the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts & Sciences masterclass on New Authoritarianism. The presentation (which is theses of a research paper) is dedicated to how the Ukraine's Orange Revolution influenced strategy and policies of Putin's regime.

Published in: News & Politics
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Orange Reaction: What the Kremlin Learned (and What It Didn’t Learn) from the Orange Revolution

  1. 1. Orange Reaction: What the Kremlin Learned (and What It Didn’t Learn) from the Orange Revolution Oleg Kozlovsky The “New Authoritarianism”: Russia and China in Comparative Perspective Amsterdam, 2013-11-27
  2. 2. Russia and Ukraine in 2004 • “Managed democracy” looks firm and well-established in both countries, with the opposition, media, business, judiciary largely under government control • Attempt to rig elections in favor of PM Viktor Yanukovich causes mass protest in Kiev’s Maidan, leading to Yanukovich’s defeat • The Kremlin supports Yanukovich’s bid and underestimates the threat of protests until it is too late • Orange Revolution shows vulnerability of the Russian model of authoritarianism, forces the Putin’s regime to react
  3. 3. Use of Propaganda • Orange Revolution is represented as Westerninstigated, nationalistic, anti-Russian, chaotic, bloody, etc. • Anti-Westernism and Anti-Americanism adopted as key propaganda concepts: The West is trying to weaken and destroy Russia • Putin’s rule is claimed to have brought about much-needed political and economical stability that has to be preserved at all costs • Concept of “sovereign democracy” is used to repel criticism of Russian political system from abroad • Constant public attacks against leading opposition figures and organizations ensure that there will be no “Russian Yuschenko” capable of winning elections • The regime increasingly contests the opposition on the Internet by training and hiring bloggers, investing in online media, use of hackers etc.
  4. 4. Political Organizing • Nashi and similar groups absorb socially active youth using many “Orange” techniques • Both the police and pro-Kremlin youth groups are used to deny physical space to the opposition, with varying effectiveness • Attacks are carried out against the opposition, both online and offline
  5. 5. Legislation and Policies • Electoral reform: Shutting down 2/3 of political parties, banning of electoral blocs, putting remaining parties under stricter control • Passing of “anti-extremist” laws, which allow to target both groups and individuals for a broad range of political activities • Wider use of coercive agencies to persecute opposition and human rights activists, especially before elections
  6. 6. Post-2011 Perspective • By 2011, Kremlin’s policies had discredited most political institutions – elections, the Parliament, parties, courts, etc. – and eventually eroded trust in the government • Russian civil society was maturing despite all these measures, which became apparent in December 2011 when mass protests erupted in Moscow and other cities • Kremlin’s contingency plan failed; Putin’s model turned out not to be immune to the “Orange virus” • After the White Ribbon protests, the sophisticated system of “sovereign democracy” was largely replaced with a more straightforward, traditional form of authoritarianism
  7. 7. Oleg Kozlovsky oleg@kozlovsky.ru @kozlovsky facebook.com/kozlovsky Skype: okozlovsky

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